How To Improve Your Handwriting - Sketchnote School - Verbal To Visual - Doug Neill - Featured

How To Improve Your Handwriting

Are you satisfied with the quality of your handwriting? If not, let’s fix that!

Here are four actionable tips to improve the quality of your letters.

Use Lined Or Gridded Paper

How To Improve Your Handwriting - Sketchnote School - Verbal To Visual - Doug Neill - lined gridded paperOne of the best ways to improve your handwriting is to use lined or gridded paper.

Those useful lines on the page serve two purposes.

First, they help you write your letters at a consistent height.

Second, they help you to keep a string of words running horizontally across the page rather than drifting up or down it.

Even if your goal is to use blank paper for your sketchnotes, by using lined or gridded paper to build your handwriting skills you’ll be developing good habits along with muscle memory, both of which will transfer to notes taken in a more free-form environment.

Repetition

How To Improve Your Handwriting - Sketchnote School - Verbal To Visual - Doug Neill - repetition, alphabetAs with any skill, the more you intentionally practice, the better you’ll get.

My go-to for ensuring that I get in some regular practice is to warm up by writing the alphabet at least once prior to each note-taking session.

You might find other times within your day to practice with the alphabet, or even with a passage of a book that you enjoy or the lyrics of a favorite song.

Slow Down

How To Improve Your Handwriting - Sketchnote School - Verbal To Visual - Doug Neill - slow down, not transcribingIf you goal is to write more legibly, try slowing down.

Even though you might feel rushed in a live note-taking session, remember that your goal isn’t to transcribe what you’re hearing word-for-word, but instead to synthesize what you’re hearing into as few words as possible, alongside some helpful visuals.

Tweak Trouble Letters

How To Improve Your Handwriting - Sketchnote School - Verbal To Visual - Doug Neill - Tweak trouble lettersFinally, I encourage you to identify those letters that give you trouble, and then change the way your write them.

For me that letter was “S”.

I used to have trouble writing it consistently, and I often disliked how it looked.

So I changed the way I wrote it by removing the initial and final small curves. Not only did that make it easier and quicker to write, I also enjoyed the style more!

An Example Of Improvement

To show you that it really is possible to improve your handwriting skills, first take a look at one of my early sketchnotes, these of William Zinsser’s book On Writing Well:

Then compare that to some more recent sketchnotes of an episode of The Accidental Creative:

See much of a difference?

Your Turn

How To Improve Your Handwriting - Sketchnote School - Verbal To Visual - Doug Neill -

Now it’s your turn to put these handwriting tips to use!

The happier you are with your letters, the more you’ll enjoy the note-taking process, and the more free you’ll be to turn your attention toward the ideas you’re capturing.

Best of luck.

-Doug

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Want To Dig Deeper?

If you’re new to the idea of sketchnoting and excited to develop more visual thinking tools, I think you’d enjoy our foundational course An Introduction To Visual Note-Taking.

If you’d like to make sketchnoted videos like the one you saw here, we’ve got a course for that too! Check out How To Make Sketchnote Videos.

And if you’re an educator interested in bringing visual note-taking into your classroom, check out Sketchnoting In The Classroom.